Travel
 

This millennium, Britain’s dragonfly contingent has been in the throes of revolution. Several sparkling species have crossed the sea to start colonising the UK. In this ambitious itinerary, you might see up to seven magnificent dragonflies unknown in Britain two decades previously.

Tour of Britain: Mark Cavendish’s lone attack backfires badly

There was more disappointment for Mark Cavendish on Monday after Gerald Ciolek claimed a dramatic sprint victory in the second stage of the Tour of Britain as he pipped Ireland’s Sam Bennett to the finish line in Kendal to become the new race leader.

George Zimmerman and his wife Shellie arrive for the start of the trial reuters

Florida Police Chief agrees 'George Zimmerman is a Sandy Hook waiting to happen'

Emails sent by a Florida Police chief appear to show him agreeing that George Zimmerman, the man who shot teenager Trayvon Martin is "a Sandy Hook waiting to happen".

The Flamethrowers, By Rachel Kushner. Harvill Secker, £16.99

Rachel Kushner's second novel opens with a striking set-piece. It is 1977, and Kushner's nameless narrator – a young artist who will later be christened "Reno", after her hometown – races her motorcycle across the salt flats of Utah. She's doing a land-speed trial, while performing an artistic experiment: through speed, she aims to achieve an "acute case of the present tense". When her bike wipes out, the crash captures the message of Kushner's novel: that life can't be lived, nor art made, purely in the present. History will always hit us and send us spinning.

Seat of power: the Victoria Inn sits on the Holkham estate

Room service: A Norfolk icon that is easy to digest

The Victoria Inn, Holkham

French police block the road to the murder scene near Lake Annecy in eastern France

Al-Hilli killings: One year on, mystery surrounds the quadruple murder in the Alps

But French and British investigators pledge 'absolute determination' to solve it

Too many peace efforts mean further instability in eastern Congo

Confusion over the crisis in eastern Congo stems from three separate and often competing peace efforts in one of the world’s most unstable areas. Fighting between rebel groups and the army has displaced one million people since July, all under the watchful eye of the UN’s biggest peacekeeping operation.

Zurich insurance finance boss Pierre Wauthier found dead in 'likely suicide'

Police in Switzerland say evidence points to 53-year-old CFO having taken his own life, as insurance group's profits reported to be tumbling

Our friend’s electric: The ‘smart times 13’ convention, at Buochs airport in Switzerland

Electric-mobility: Turn up, plug in, join motoring's social revolution

Meeting the experts and enthusiasts at an electric car convention, Matthew Bell asks if we should all be doing the Smart thing

Last night's viewing: Poaching Wars with Tom Hardy, ITV1
Chickens, Sky1

Should the whole mega-millions-movie thing fail for Tom Hardy, the British actor last seen in the cinema as Batman's nemesis in The Dark Knight Rises, a second career awaits as a tough-guy presenter with a heart.

Max and Ivan: The Reunion

Edinburgh 2013: Max and Ivan: The Reunion - Ingeniously plotted and zingily executed

Sketch shows take one of two forms - a high-speed rattle through random gags or a narrative arc structured around more-or-less random gags. The latter can be tortuous, if not nonsensical but like Pappy's last year, Max and Ivan have hit upon the perfect vehicle for their sketch story this year. Their school reunion rom-com has plot and heart enough to stand alone but leaves space for plenty of playful messing around, too.

One minute with: Peter Robinson, crime writer

Where are you now and what can you see?

Video: DVD and Blu-Ray releases

See below to watch the trailers for this week's DVD and Blu-Ray releases

The eight year old boy was severely injured by an 'Alligator Snapping Turtle'

€1,000 reward as Bavarian lake drained in hunt for Lotti the vicious turtle

Floodlights, infra-red sights, rescue teams and TV crews all turn out after boy swimmer's ankle bitten 'by alligator snapping turtle'

Sinkhole opens up near Disney World in Florida

A sinkhole caused a section of a Florida resort villa near Disney World to partially collapse Monday, while another section of the villa was sinking, authorities said.

Nikhil Kumar: Grand bargain? Barack Obama’s corporate tax wheeze is more a grand fantasy

The only way big companies will pay even 28 per cent is if politicians close every loophole

Career Services

Day In a Page

Independent Travel
Burgundy, the River Rhone & Provence – Five-star MS Swiss Corona 7 nights from £999pp
Lake Como St Moritz & the Bernina Express 7 nights from £809pp
Vietnam
Lake Maggiore, Orta & the Matterhorn 7 nights from £939pp
South Africa
Spain
Prices correct as of 19 December 2014
Isis in Iraq: Yazidi girls killing themselves to escape rape and imprisonment by militants

'Jilan killed herself in the bathroom. She cut her wrists and hanged herself'

Yazidi girls killing themselves to escape rape and imprisonment
Ed Balls interview: 'If I think about the deficit when I'm playing the piano, it all goes wrong'

Ed Balls interview

'If I think about the deficit when I'm playing the piano, it all goes wrong'
He's behind you, dude!

US stars in UK panto

From David Hasselhoff to Jerry Hall
Grace Dent's Christmas Quiz: What are you – a festive curmudgeon or top of the tree?

Grace Dent's Christmas Quiz

What are you – a festive curmudgeon or top of the tree?
Nasa planning to build cloud cities in airships above Venus

Nasa planning to build cloud cities in airships above Venus

Planet’s surface is inhospitable to humans but 30 miles above it is almost perfect
Surrounded by high-rise flats is a little house filled with Lebanon’s history - clocks, rifles, frogmen’s uniforms and colonial helmets

Clocks, rifles, swords, frogmen’s uniforms

Surrounded by high-rise flats is a little house filled with Lebanon’s history
Return to Gaza: Four months on, the wounds left by Israel's bombardment have not yet healed

Four months after the bombardment, Gaza’s wounds are yet to heal

Kim Sengupta is reunited with a man whose plight mirrors the suffering of the Palestinian people
Gastric surgery: Is it really the answer to the UK's obesity epidemic?

Is gastric surgery really the answer to the UK's obesity epidemic?

Critics argue that it’s crazy to operate on healthy people just to stop them eating
Homeless Veterans appeal: Christmas charity auction Part 2 - now LIVE

Homeless Veterans appeal: Christmas charity auction

Bid on original art, or trips of a lifetime to Africa or the 'Corrie' set, and help Homeless Veterans
Pantomime rings the changes to welcome autistic theatre-goers

Autism-friendly theatre

Pantomime leads the pack in quest to welcome all
The week Hollywood got scared and had to grow up a bit

The week Hollywood got scared and had to grow up a bit

Sony suffered a chorus of disapproval after it withdrew 'The Interview', but it's not too late for it to take a stand, says Joan Smith
From Widow Twankey to Mother Goose, how do the men who play panto dames get themselves ready for the performance of a lifetime?

Panto dames: before and after

From Widow Twankey to Mother Goose, how do the men who play panto dames get themselves ready for the performance of a lifetime?
Thirties murder mystery novel is surprise runaway Christmas hit

Thirties murder mystery novel is surprise runaway Christmas hit

Booksellers say readers are turning away from dark modern thrillers and back to the golden age of crime writing
Anne-Marie Huby: 'Charities deserve the best,' says founder of JustGiving

Anne-Marie Huby: 'Charities deserve the best'

Ten million of us have used the JustGiving website to donate to good causes. Its co-founder says that being dynamic is as important as being kind
The botanist who hunts for giant trees at Kew Gardens

The man who hunts giants

A Kew Gardens botanist has found 25 new large tree species - and he's sure there are more out there